Starz Film Fest Insider's Guide: Blank City

11/08/2010 06:07 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Donnybrook reviewed films playing the Starz Denver Film Festival this week on a 100 star system. Why? Because our opinion counts 20 times more than most peoples'. Today we reviewed the bad-ass No Wave documentary Blank City. Synopsis by Angora Holly Polo

Blank City: 93 Stars

Blank City is a documentary about no-wave, cinema of transgression, and the druggy poverty-stricken artistic incubator that was the East Village in the late '70s and early '80s.

Remember when New York was shitty? Like, really really shitty? Back then, filmmakers had to steal their film and break into places to film there. Musicians were film actors and directors were rock stars; it was a time of blurring boundaries and wild creativity. It was a confusing time, an exciting time, a creative time, and it was a hard time. So they did a lot of drugs and made a lot of edgy, personal, experimental, cathartic films.

This film features commentary and cameos by: Debbie Harry, Jim Jarmusch, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Thurston Moore, Lydia Lunch, Patti Astor, Fab 5 Freddy, John Waters, Steve Buscemi, Klaus Nomi, Vivienne Dick, Nick Zedd, Lizzie Borden, Amos Poe, and more. Yes, more.

Antoine von Frankenstein says: The very broad definition of what is "indie" can include movies that cost anywhere from $20,000 to upwards of $17,000,000. You could say No Wave was independent, but that would be a disservice to the guerrilla filmmakers who broke into empty buildings wearing borrowed bed sheets to film a scene for Rome '78 on a friend's 16mm camera. It was underground and it was bad-ass. Blank City is a must see for any filmmaker or film lover.

Angora Holly Polo says: Sometimes when I'm cooking, I try to make something using all my favorite ingredients and it turns out shitty. But taking a bunch of my favorite artists, musicians, actors and filmmakers and learning they did drugs together in the '80s? That's so cool! And the end result was a revolutionary style of filmmaking, not to mention some of these people going on to change popular music as we know it. It made me sad we live in digital times, where revolutions happen politely over the internet.

Fritz Godard says: Holy shit, No Wave and Cinema of Transgression were great! It's always nice to have a reminder that American independent film wasn't always about struggling with being a 20/30 something. At one point saying something was an actual goal. If you ever ask yourself "What is cinema?" you must see this film.

Father Guido Sarducci says: This documentary floored me. First of all, it brought to light a movement I had never known about. Secondly, it was like a full circle for me, highlighting all these people and movies I had seen in the past but never knew were related.


Saturday, November 06, 6:45 PM
 at Denver FilmCenter/Colfax

Sunday, November 07, 1:30 PM
 at Denver FilmCenter/Colfax

Sunday, November 07, 8:30 PM
 at Denver FilmCenter/Colfax